SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – Blackstone Group is looking to purchase Lucasfilm’s state-of-the art facility, The Sandcrawler, named for the classic Star Wars transport that inspired its design.
The US private equity giant has started the process of buying the building for about $175 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The sale is pending regulatory approval.
The move signals Singapore’s property assets continue to be attractive to foreign investors, who see the city’s political, financial and legal stability as an advantage. Other American companies including Amazon.com and Facebook are also expanding their presence, while China’s tech behemoths such as Tencent Holdings and ByteDance are looking to make Singapore a beachhead for South-east Asia.
The Sandcrawler, located at Fusionopolis tech park in one-north district, has eight floors of office space. The 22,000 square metre facility also includes a retail shopping area, a 100-seat theatre, lush gardens and a Yoda fountain.
The futuristic-looking, horseshoe-shaped building is modeled after the Sandcrawler, the fictional huge mobile fortresses featured in the Star Wars films. It houses Industrial Light & Magic Singapore, Lucasfilm’s visual effects and animation studio, and serves as the studio’s regional headquarters.
The building opened to much fanfare in September 2013, with George Lucas, the legendary director of Star Wars and Lucasfilm founder, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attending the launch.
Singapore’s home prices are also seeing a recovery, rising to the highest in more than two years last quarter. The country forecasts a recovery from its worst recession since independence as Covid vaccinations are rolled out and restrictions eased.
With additional information from The Straits Times